Human Bites


Treatment for Human Bites

Human bites are usually caused by one person biting another or may result from a situation in which one person comes in contact with other person's teeth. Symptoms of human bites may range from mild to severe. Human bites that break the skin, like all puncture wounds, have a high risk of becoming infected. Just like dog and cat bites, human bites can easily become infected due to the number of bacterial in the human mouth. They also pose a risk of injury to underlying tendons and joints. It is important that a medical provider evaluate any human bite that breaks the skin.

Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Emergency Center.

What is the treatment for human bites?

Remain calm and reassure your child that you can help. Specific treatment for a human bite will be determined by your child's medical provider. Treatment may include:

  • If the bite is actively bleeding, apply direct pressure to it with a clean bandage, dry cloth or towel to stop the bleeding.
  • If the area is NOT bleeding severely, wash the wound with mild soap and running water from a faucet for at least five minutes. Do not scrub the wound as this may bruise the skin and underlying tissue.
  • Dry the wound and cover it with a sterile dressing. Do not use tape or butterfly bandages to close the wound, as this could trap harmful bacteria in the wound.
  • Human bites are often treated with oral and/or topical antibiotics to prevent or treat infection.
  • It is important to discuss with your medical provider whether or not a tetanus booster is needed.
  • Call your child's medical provider to find out if additional treatment is necessary.


Teach young children not to bite others. Never put your hand near or in the mouth of someone who is having a seizure.